Time to take a step back, Steeler Nation
To all Steeler fans out there, and non Steeler fans alike, it’s time to take a step back into reality here. The recent events that have transpired this offseason involving Roethlisberger & Holmes have obviously struck a nerve with many a fan of the black ‘n gold. We haven’t seen an offseason like this, possibly ever, in the history of our beloved team. Steelers players just generally are not the type to make so many off the field waves, causing the national media to scrutinize the inner workings of the Steelers front office. The Steelers are one of the most respected teams in all of professional sports and they pride themselves on surrounding their coach with quality people both on and off the field.
The Steeler Nation needs to take a step back into reality
Times are changing here folks and today’s athlete is not like the ones even 10 years ago, let alone 30 years ago. The readily available temptations that can cause even the most grounded individual to have a moment of pause, are so prevalent in today’s society that things of this nature were bound to happen sooner or later. There is no amount of scouting, pre employment interviews, or anything else that can fully guarantee a player will stay out of trouble off the field. It’s just going to happen so you might as well get used to it. I have so read many articles, seen so many message board posts, and heard so many people talking, about getting rid of these players because they don't act like your "typical Steeler player". Just because it’s not something Steeler fans have had to deal with much in their history doesn’t mean you all of the sudden start tossing players off the team; sorry folks it doesn’t work that way.
The Steelers have spent considerable amounts of money in players like Holmes & Roethlisberger, so to anyone that honestly thinks either of these players should be released or traded, you really need to do some rethinking here. Ben is your 2 time Super Bowl winning QB who by the time it’s all said and done will own every passing record in team history. We’ve suffered through the tough times since Terry Bradshaw called it quits; with the likes of guys like Brister, Woodley, Stoudt, Stewart, Graham, etc. The list goes on and on through the decades of average or below average Quarterback play on a team that has always had a solid running game, good offensive line, and great defenses. There is not one person who can actually say they would sacrifice all the potential success that will come with Ben at the reigns or all the previous success with 2 more Lombardi’s in the front office, just to get rid of some off the field problems and bad press. It just doesn’t work that way folks. It’s true that Ben needs to have a serious soul searching session and realize that rules that apply to all of us, apply to him as well. Nobody is saying what he did was right or that any of us approve of it, however it’s not the end of the world. The NFL is a business and the Steelers are in that business; the bottom line is to win, period!
We shouldn’t be concerned with Ben being the model citizen, the perfect fan favorite, or the poster boy for your children to look up too. Ladies and Gentlemen, your kids should be raised to make their own decisions based on the values that you instill in them as they are growing up. There is no excuse for a parent to complain that their kids look up to athletes so therefore each one needs to be the perfect role model. These people are in fact just that, real people, who happen to have a high profile job. You can’t expect them to be perfect nor can you expect them to not ever let your kids down just because he runs around in a #7 jersey. It was nice to sit back and be able to say how great the Steelers players are, how they never get in trouble, how we could never be like those other teams, but those times are gone. There is a price to pay for success in this day and age. It’s not going to get any better and the days of the quiet offseasons for not only our Steelers but any team in any sport, are long gone. Every offseason somebody is going to do something to stir the pot, and we’ll be back having these same discussions again.
There is not one person who can willingly say that they would rather go back to having a non playoff contending team, or a having a team during the Cowher years who couldn’t make it over the hump to another championship, for the sake of good role models. You can talk all you want about “trade Ben, release Holmes, this stuff is inexcusable, etc. but it’s not going to change. That’s not how it works; the Steelers are a business and they are in the business of winning just like anyone else. I have been a fan of the Steelers for as long as I can remember, I have their logo tattooed on my leg, I run a Steelers fan website, I have followed our beloved black n gold religiously even the brink of craziness in some people’s eyes. I know what it means to be a fan of the Steelers, I appreciate what “the Chief” did for this team, and I realize that Dan Rooney is an icon in sports and one of the most reputable men in the history of sports management. The Steelers know what it means to be part of the community and have players that are upstanding citizens in the community and guys that care about what their personal actions mean to the team as a whole and its fans. The reality is, today’s athlete is different and susceptible to the same temptations that any average Joe is. The fact that they make more money than most of us could ever dream of, or that they play on the Steelers, is just not a reason to go sacrifice the success of your team by getting rid of these players. I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars to go see a game, where the performance is sub par for the sake of having model citizens on the team.
I for one, would not trade the 2 Super Bowl trophies, and the potential future success that guys like Holmes & Roethlisberger will be a part of just because of allegations and some bad decisions in their personal lives. Way too many fans and media personalities want to lynch Ben and send Holmes packing when nobody has the true facts in any of these cases. You only know what the police and/or media want you to know at this point. There are way too many unknown facts for anybody to sit there either of these 2 guys. Let’s face it, Ray Lewis was on trial for murder, and he was welcomed back with open arms by the Ravens and their fans. Nobody talks about that anymore, and soon the same will be said for Holmes & Roethlisberger because quite frankly, winning cures all ill feelings and on Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field during the 2010 season all the fans in the stands will be cheering just like always.
I'm just as tired of hearing about our Steelers in the news like everyone else, let's just play some football already! Quite honestly, a short article like this may not sit well with old school Steeler fans who aren't used to this type of behavior from their favorite players, but like I said in the beginning, times are different now..for better and for worse.